Greenville hosts Peace Officer’s Association

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2000

Alicia Weldon

Staff Writer

Peace officers from all over the state met in Greenville Tuesday for the annual Alabama Peace Officer's Association conference.

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The conferences, held twice a year in the summer and winter, helps train officers in dealing with certain issues they might be faced with in the line of duty and allows them to get a chance to get to know the other members of the association.

Classes were held in the Ritz Theatre during the day on issues peace officers should be aware of, such as police liability and gambling. Guest speakers instructed the crowd of about 75 officers each day.

The members also nominated and voted on officers for the 2000-2001 year, holding a banquet Thursday night at Cambrian Ridge to induct those who were voted into office.

Peace officers visiting the city also had a chance to participate in the second annual Pro-Law-Am gold tournament at Cambrian Ridge on Wednesday. Afterwards, there was a barbecue dinner for the guests at Sherling Lake.

Chief Lonzo Ingram of the Greenville Police Department said he thought holding the conference in Greenville greatly benefits commerce in the city.

"The conference helps bring in money and tax dollars, as well as generating business," said Ingram, who is also this year's Alabama Peace Officer's Association president. "There're a lot of people here, and they spend money on meals, even though we provide most of their food, and ongoing shopping."

Waynne Ward, executive director of the Association, said Greenville is a convenient place to hold the meeting instead of having it in a larger city.

"We like to bring the conference to smaller areas because its more cost efficient than having it in a large area," Ward said.

The Alabama Peace Officers Association, started in 1933, is the oldest police organization in the state with over 4,500 members from the city, county and state levels of law enforcement.

Becoming a member of the Association is optional for any active law enforcement official with arrest power. Members are offered a large death benefit if killed in the line of duty.

The Association also puts on a "Why Say No To Drugs" essay contest each year for all eighth graders in the state.

Scott Perkins, a member of the Montgomery Housing Authority Investigative Unit, said this is his first time attending a conference, although he has been a member for seven years.

"We try to learn as much training as we can so we can better serve the people," Perkins said.